With the kind permission of Takao Nakaya, I am quoting from ‘KARATEDO History and Philosophy’ 6th Edition , 2018. I have edited/omitted portions in order that Nakaya Sensei’s rights are preserved.
“The Meishojuku dormitory was built in the middle of the summer, in 1912. It was between two eras (Meiji and Taisho) and the name came from these two eras with Jyuku meaning house.
Originally, Funakoshi had planned to return to Okinawa but changed his mind and began living at the Meishojuku dormitory for Okinawan students. Gima (Gima used the pronunciation of his first name, Makoto instead of Shinkin in the mainland of Japan), who also lived in Meishojuku, asked the superintendent of the Meishojuku, Kanjun Higaonna, for permission for Funakoshi to live and use a room for karate training, which was granted.
Funakoshi moved in there early in August, and in the middle of the month, he began to teach Karate to Kano’s most advanced students and members of the police and military at various sports centres during the day.
Masahiro Kasuya, Hironori Otsuka, and Katsuichi Matsuda joined around the middle of September. In the evenings, Funakoshi taught karate at the Meishojuku, using only 360 square feet. It was Funakoshi’s teaching at the Meishojuku that seem to bring a recognition to karate.
Evening classes usually who are small classes consisting of 4 to 8 students. He stayed there for a few years. The next year, on September one, 1923, there was the Kanto earthquake, and the Meishojuku building was damaged. Around the beginning of summer 1924, Funakoshi moved to the Yushinkan Dojo, belonged to a famous Kendo expert, Hakudo Nakayama, until the Meishojuku building was fixed. Nakayama gave permission to Funakoshi to use this dojo when he was not using it. He used this dojo until 1931. After then, he rented one house which was Masago-Cho (town) for two years. After then, he moved to the next house until March 1, 1938. The rental house’s owner, Masuko Yoshiyama, who was a widow, became Funakoshi’s first female student. Funakoshi’s students called it Masago-Cho Dojo. On March 1, 1938, his students presented one dojo called Shotokan Dojo to him.
This dojo was burned down by air attacks during World War II on March 9, 1945. The following people ere Funakoshi’s students from the above three dojos:
(Editor’s note this – list has been purposely shortened by me for the sake of this web page).
As stated in a post from January 2022, I recall a weekend that I once spent with Chinen Teruo Sensei of Judokan Goju-Ryu. Due to the fact that he knew (my at that time previous instructor) Sensei Narumi Hidetada, I had a unique opportunity to have deep conversations with him. I learned that they had a close relationship with the Yoyogi dojo in Tokyo.
I did not know about Yoyogi as a young Karateka. I sincerely wish that I did as it is woven into the very fabric of my Karate. So, co-incidentally for my lineage, Gima Makoto Sensei and his students also used the Yoyogi Dojo as their base where both ‘Shoto’ and ‘Goju’ were being taught.
The internet will tell us that the famous Goju-Ryu Sensei, Higaonna Morio moved from Okinawa to Tokyo both to study at Taku-Dai (Takushoku University) and whilst in Japan he made huge efforts to propagate Karate-do both in Japan and overseas. Higaonna sensei was to become a feature in the notorious Yoyogi Dojo. A dojo legendary for its arduous training sessions.
In his book Karate do History and Philosophy, Takao Nakaya, JSS Publishing. P. 176-177. 6th edition, 2018 writes:
“SHOTO-RYU – 松涛流– 1968
He supported the Karatedo society for a long time. After Gima passed away, this style was no longer practiced openly. I have a personal interest in Gima’s Karatedo life, so I tried to find his students, which resulted in locating Ikuo Higuchi (11/2/1941 – ), Mitsunori Kobayashi (2/25/1944), and Hidetada Narumi (4/27/1944). Kobayashi – Sensei (Mitsunori Kobayashi) related the following story. A few years after Gima’s death, they created Gima-Ha Shoto-Ryu. Then five or six years later they changed the name to Gima-Ha Shotokan-Ryu”. So, it was around 1996 that they used the style, “Gima-Ha (Gima-sect) Shotokan-Ryu = 儀間派松涛館流.” Currently, they have organised a group “Gima-Ha Shotokan-Ryu Karatedo Association), and Higuchi is the chief instructor.
Higuchi-Sensei related that one Okinawan schoolteacher, Ryujo Arakaki, wanted to popularise Karatedo. After he retired, he moved to Tokyo and bought some property in the metropolitan area (Yoyogi) of Tokyo to use as a Karatedo dojo.
Arakaki was not a Karatedoka, so he asked Seiken Shukumine to teach. Shukumine agreed to teach there, but later quit.
Afterwards, Arakaki contacted Gima, and Gima began teaching in the 1950s, but Gima did not teach every day. So later, Seikichi Toguchi, who was a Goju-Ryu instructor, taught the other days at the same time. Toguchi moved to Tokyo in 1960 and stayed for a decade. After Toguchi left, several other people taught at the dojo.
The following names came from Kobayashi-Sensei, but some are not certain:
Mitsuhiro Tsuchiya 2/26/1933 – ),
Hideharu Ogawa (7/24/1932- ),
Teruo Chinen (6/8/1941 – 9/9/2015), and
After Gima retired, his student Ikuo Higuchi taught.
Kobayashi -Sensei told me that Gima’s first son, Hideo, and Hideo’s first son, Katsuhiko were not known as Karatedoka. They might never have learned Karatedo. Gima’s wife was Yaeko. I must thank Gima-Sensei who left an invaluable book “Kindai Karatedo no Rekiushi wo Kataru” with Ryozo Fujiwara to help me research Karatedo’s history. There are so many valuable materials in this book.”
One of my senior instructors, Higuchi Ikuo Sensei , wrote in Gima Sensei Beiju Celebration booklet:
“Because at this time I was very young, I was much more interested in kumite than kata. It seemed more important to me to actually practice my form than to understand it. At that time doing 1000 practice punches and 1000 practice kicks was like nothing; I would do 10,000. At this time, we had a senior instructor called T. Kobayashi; he was very uncompromising and strict.
The training was so severe that today’s young karate students would probably give up in less than three days. This training was designed to enable us to take on and defeat 10-15 enemies at a time. Only people with great physical and spiritual strength could handle this training. Throughout all this training, Master M. Gima’s calm theoretical training gave us the spirit to continue in spite of the severity. As I rose through the ranks (perhaps because I was very enthusiastic), Master Gima taught me all that he knew. One day he told me “Higuchi, I’m going to teach you all I know”, which he did. Also, he taught me Sensei Funakoshi’s karate throwing techniques. I was the first student to get a qualification in Gima Style Karate. For this reason, I decided to make karate my career, and have continued polishing my style and gathering disciples over the years. Among the many katas that Master Gima taught me, Gojushiho is my favourite kata and I often show it at karate tournaments and displays. I call it “Gima-ha Gojushiho” because of my appreciation to him and the forte of his karate.”
Another note (I cannot find the author), in the booklet wrote:
“The All Japan Shisei-Kai Federation was founded in Showa 46 (1972) with Higuchi Ikuo Sensei as its centre, who instructed. Higuchi Sensei was a master of the Shotokan-Ryu karate, which was winning fame at the time as a prominent dojo even in Japan. In fact, the dojo was in Yoyogi Dojo of the Okinawa Karatedo Association.
At the time, for that reason, with Yoyogi Dojo disciples forming the core, we went from Ikebukuro’s parks Blue Sky Dojo we used Suginamiku’s Myoheiji gymnasium as a place to train.”
Yet another of my senior instructors, Kobayashi Mitsunori Sensei, recently wrote to me stating:
Then I know (knew) Gojyu Master Mr. Higaonnna , Mr. Chinen and Mr. Suzuki well.
Especially I was taught important technique by Mr. Suzuki when I was in Kyoto.”
And I had a chance of studying Shito Ryu by Mr. Ryushou Sakagami ( Itosu-kai). I think It is important to study the movement of circle. And we must not rely on my (our) power. We must study how to reduce the power of the opponent”.
So, Yoyogi, Goju-Ryu, Shito-Ryu, Shoto-Ryu (Shotokan-Ryu) all have major connections to my lineage (and therefore Gima-Ha UK) and experience. This I find to be fascinating and still research and study as much as I can on the subject and the styles.
Nakaya Takao Sensei gave me permission to use some of his writing, solely for the purpose of education for our Gima-Ha organisation. I therefore, with his permission, reproduce the following excerpt from KARATEDO – History and Philosophy.
I thank him sincerely.
“Now, I chose four Okinawan Karatedoka who went to the mainland of Japan, and taught Karatedo there. I try to understand the relationship between Bushido and Karatedo simply through these four Karatedoka’s footprints. The following four Okinawan Karatedoka graduated from Shihangakko (page 24): Juhatsu Kyoda (1887-1968), Kanken Toyama (1888-1966), Makoto Gima (1896-1989), and Hiroyasu Tamae (1906-1985). Funakoshi is not included because his group became very large with college Karatedo clubs, so he could not teach his way correctly to all his students as in a private school. Shihangakko was the highest level school in Okinawa at that time, so these Karatedoka should have learned Bushido. They did not try to create a big organisation, but they left wonderful students. I contacted students of all four Karatedoka. They were so nice and friendly. When their teachers learned Karatedo, it was not in the setting of democracy and freedom. but it seems these four teachers taught their students democracy and freedom with excellent ethics, and did not use their students for unworthy things. Of course, they were schoolteachers, but I believe that they learned Karatedo correctly as Budo, and I think that Okinawan Karatedoka might not have the experience of real Bushido in their history. Bushido taught us many excellent ethics, but Bushido make a demand of the follower to sacrifice for their over-lord’s private reasons. Bushido was concerned with always being prepared for war. Okinawan Karatedoka had more of an opportunity to discover oneself in society and to learn self-defence of of one’s own personal territory. In this connection I may add that Bushido was learned by Bushi’s family only in Japan, but Karatedo was learned by everybody Okinawa. Even famers or fisherman could learn it.”